Where’s the Canadian Medical Association on secret shale gas/frac records?
50. The Canadian Medical Association supports further research into the health impacts related to the exploration for and use of shale gas. (DM 5-32)
51. The Canadian Medical Association supports a comprehensive federal environmental review process, including health impact studies, for all industrial projects. (DM 5-29)
52. The Canadian Medical Association supports a national strategy to assist communities in the development and implementation of comprehensive health plans to address short- or long-term adverse effects associated with a sudden change in the economic climate. (DM 5-30)
53. The Canadian Medical Association supports the creation of a federal/provincial/territorial partnership to monitor the environmental and adverse health effects of natural resource extraction projects. (DM 5-33)
54. The Canadian Medical Association calls for timely and comprehensive public access to all government and industry environmental health-related data gathered during monitoring of natural resource extraction projects. (DM 5-34)
Where did the Canadian doctors go?
American Medical Association blasts secret shale records, Group calls for public disclosure, expanded water monitoring by Don Hopey, June 12, 2015, Pittsburg Post-Gazette
The American Medical Association, citing growing concerns about monitoring and tracking long-term human health impacts caused by shale gas development, is calling for the public disclosure of all chemicals used in the extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”
The new policy, adopted Tuesday by the nation’s largest physicians organization at its annual meeting in Chicago, states that in addition to requiring the chemical disclosures, monitoring “should focus on human exposure in well water and surface water and government agencies should share this information with physicians and the public.”
Most of the 25 states in the U.S. where shale gas drilling and development is occurring — including Pennsylvania, where drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations is booming — either don’t know or don’t publicly disclose all the chemicals used in fracking.
“Keeping the names of the chemicals secret is preposterous,” said Todd Sack, a physician in Jacksonville, Fla., and author of the AMA’s policy. “It places an unreasonable burden on physicians. The AMA feels that if companies are going to be responsible petroleum and gas explorers and extractors, they need to disclose the chemicals they use and do better water testing. That’s not a radical position.”
The industry says it meets all state laws. It has opposed calls to make public all of the chemicals used in the fracking process, citing commercial proprietary interests for keeping secret the chemicals used in fracking as biocides, friction inhibitors, anti-corrosives and acids to dissolve minerals. [Or, are secrets kept because companies (and regulators/governments) know fracing contaminates drinking water, thus they want to make sure harmed citizens, municipalities and businesses always and only settle and gag lawsuits rather than endure the impossibility of them because of all the secrets? Is that why Encana is nastily refusing to file all chemicals injected at Rosebud in the Ernst lawsuit? To force settle and gag?]
Dr. Sack said last week’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study on water resource impacts from shale gas development couldn’t make a health impact finding after five years of gathering information, in part because the industry didn’t provide requested chemical data. He noted that 8.4 million people in the U.S. now live within one mile of a shale gas drilling and fracking site, and that the EPA found that at least one chemical used in fracking was concealed from regulators because of proprietary claims at 70 percent of the thousands of shale gas wells drilled in the U.S.
“If we don’t know what chemicals are being used at specific well sites,” Dr. Sack said, “physicians and public health officials can’t do their jobs.”
The AMA action comes just a week after a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public health study showed a “concerning association” between babies born with lower birth weights and proximity to high-density shale gas well development.
“It’s a total hoax to say the public knows what’s going on if there isn’t full disclosure of all the chemicals used in fracking,” Dr. Sack said. [Emphasis added]